Veteran Spanish filmmaker Fernando Colomo not only writes and directs, but also plays one of the central characters in his latest romantic comedy, “Isla Bonita” [Eng. Title: Pretty Island].
The film is set in the island of Menorca, where sculptor Nuria (Nuria Roman) lives with her teenage daughter Olivia (Olivia Delcán). Olivia had invited her Swiss boyfriend Tim (Tim Bettermann) for a holiday and the couple were having a great time together, until Lluís (Lluís Marqués) – her ex boyfriend, bumps into them in the market. Unmindful of Tim’s presence, Lluís briefly gets touchy-feely with Olivia like the good old days. He pulls back after being introduced to Tim, but Tim is already upset. When Olivia confesses that she ended her affair with Lluís only after she was certain of Tim’s visit, Tim packs up his bag and leaves in a hurry, even when there were no flights available.
Around the same time, film maker Fernando (Fernando Colomo) had been invited by his old friend Miguel (Miguel Ángel Furones) to shoot a documentary about the island. Miguel had hoped to host Fernando at his place, but had to change plans and convinces friend Nuria to put him at her place for a few days. Miguel wants to help the down-and-out Fernando who’s just been through his third divorce and is having a tough time finding work. The documentary was hence Miguel’s idea.
Olivia is distraught and wants Tim back, but he couldn’t be found despite Lluís helping her search for him. When her mother had to go away on business, Olivia strikes up an unlikely friendship with Fernando. They share their stories, and go sightseeing and swimming together. Fernando soon becomes fascinated with both Nuria and her work, and decides to feature her too in his upcoming documentary film.
Having had an opportunity to study Fernando, Olivia tries to pair him up with her mother and even sets-up a dinner date between the two, but it backfires, because Nuria felt he was taking things ‘too fast’ for her liking – after all, “poc a poc” is the way of the island. Olivia gets a shock too when she discovers that Tim was not only in town, but to add insult to injury, was in an intimate relationship with Lluís all this time. They patch things up in a thoroughly modern way of course, by becoming a threesome..! 🙂
Colomo is known for his gentle comedy arising from awkward situations and improvised dialogues, and he loves the beach too, and the skinny-dipping that comes with it (naturally), as evident from his earlier films such as Al sur de Granada, and Los años bárbaros. He is one of those rare veteran filmmakers who’s not only moving with the times, but also carrying the spirit of the seventies and eighties wherever he goes, and at least for that reason, “Isla Bonita” is Recommended Viewing..!
The Nudity: Olivia Delcán, Tim Bettermann, and Lluís Marqués
The main film features nudity, mostly from the charming young débutante Olivia Delcán who plays Olivia, along with Tim Bettermann and Lluís Marqués. The DVD however includes an alternative ending shot in full-frame, which feature additional nude scenes from the same trio. One scene has a particularly awkward moment when mum Nuria sees Olivia, Tim, and Lluís sleeping in the nude after sex with the door wide open, and she quietly slips out of the house to avoid embarrassing them.